Loblaw Sees 19% Rise in Profit

Loblaw - downtown Toronto - formerly MLG

CBJ — Loblaw has reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as the company kept a tight lid on expenses and attracted more customers to its grocery stores with discounts.

Loblaw, which sells everything from grocery to wireless mobile products, has been streamlining operations to counter intense competition from U.S. discount stores and e-commerce companies.

The company said last month it would sell its gas station business to asset manager Brookfield Business Partners for $540 million.

Sales at Loblaw’s retail business rose slightly to $10.17 billion, but same-store sales were hurt by the timing of New Year’s Day and Easter holidays.

Net earnings available to common shareholders rose to $230 million, or 57 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 25, from $193 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest quarter included a charge of $134 million, while the year-ago quarter included a charge of $145 million, primarily related to its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart.

Excluding items, the company earned 90 cents per share, beating the average estimate of 87 cents. All figures listed are in Canadian currency.


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